A Relationship with a Person Who Has Bipolar Disorder - 10 Tips to Help Them during Depression
By Grace Scott
People with bipolar disorder should understand how to live with the situation. However, the friends or family members must play a critical role to help such as a person. Severe bipolar can lead to depression where the victim may sleep more than usual or be unable to sleep, among other symptoms.
Relating with someone with bipolar disorder can be challenging, especially when such as person suffers from depression. Here are ten tips to help a person with bipolar during depression.
Listen to them
One of the best ways through which you can help someone with bipolar is by listening to them. Be attentive, especially when they are talking about their life challenges. When a bipolar victim is depressed, making simple decisions can be very difficult. Being an attentive listener can enable you to have an idea of what they may need and then plan for mindful gifting to lift their spirit.
Being an attentive listener requires you to avoid arguments and stay calm during conversations. Pay attention to the issues they are raising and avoid topics that may frustrate or irritate them.
Participate in their treatment
People with bipolar disorder are at a high risk of drug abuse and committing suicide. The burden gets more prevalent because they have to cope with lifelong treatment. Treatment is aimed at bringing the depressed person into a stable mood.
Bipolar treatment requires many doctor visits and therapy sessions. You can accompany the person during treatment sessions and give them emotional support. The appointments can be quite scary and complicated to the victims. Having someone around to talk to them can help to reduce anxiety and stress.
Have a proper plan
Since bipolar disorder is unpredictable, it is important to create an emergency plan on what you can do in severe cases. Know what you can do in case the victim feels suicidal when they are depressed or if they get uncontrollable. Have daily plans to help the person deal with the extreme mood swings until they stabilize.
The plans may involve coping mechanisms, including what the victim should do in case of extreme episodes. The best approach is to come up with plans when the person is stable and calm. Write the plans down for both of you to refer to. Be careful because people with bipolar disorder can get impulsive when they are depressed.
Support and don’t force them to do something
Your support can be very valuable to a person with bipolar during depression. However, you need to understand when you need to be close to the victim and when you need to step aside and let medical professionals intervene. Sometimes bipolar victims can make decisions but you should understand when their condition gets out of control.
If they experience setbacks when you are trying to help them, avoid taking it personally. They may not understand what they are going through. Understanding them and offering support to the best of your ability can make a difference in their feelings.
Be optimistic and patient
Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, the symptoms of which will keep recurring throughout the victim’s life. Symptom-free periods can alternate with extreme mood changes. For the sake of the victim, try to be optimistic and patient so that you can help them enjoy a healthy life.
The victim may experience a sense of well-being and they can be happy. In case they resist taking medication at the first instance, encourage them to do so in a friendly and calm way so that you don’t irritate them. Give them emotional support and let them understand that their condition is manageable.
Do some things together
Depressed people tend to isolate themselves from others. Find out what the victim loves doing and do it together. Ask them to join you for shopping, jogging, a walk or dinner. If they refuse, invite them at a later date.
Social anxiety might prevent them from showing up but they will feel loved and appreciated. Attempting to exclude them from the activities they love may make them feel more anxious.
Take care of yourself as well
Taking care of a bipolar victim during depression can be overwhelming such that you can forget about your well-being. Before you help your loved one, ensure that you are emotionally and physically fit to do so. Observe your diet, exercise and ensure that you are getting enough sleep regularly.
Establish a routine that is geared towards enhancing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Identify what you need to do to keep your mind engaged, such as playing games, reading and so in.
Reduce stress, monitor your mood, and surround yourself with people who can help you. Living a healthy life can improve your productivity as you help the patient. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from coaches, parents, therapists, and caregivers where necessary.
If you know more about bipolar, you may be in a better position to provide quality help and maintain things in perspective. For example, understanding the symptoms of bipolar and its depressive episodes can enable you to know what to do during extreme mood changes.
Do some research and learn about the symptoms and treatment of this condition. This can also help you know when to seek professional help, especially when the condition gets out of hand.
Use the Care Programme Approach
If your loved one’s condition is complex, you may use a care program approach (CPA). CPA is a care package adopted by mental health services. This can offer you a care plan with someone to coordinate the healthcare. All care plans must have a crisis plan on how to deal with extreme cases of bipolar.
The main goal of CPA is to support the mental health of the patient by enabling them to understand their goals, strengths, and difficulties. You can consider CPA if the condition is highly risky or medical needs are diverse. Both you and your patient must be given a copy of the care plan.
Identify a schedule and stick to it
If you are living with a bipolar disorder patient, encourage them to observe their daily routine. Whereas counseling and medication are important, you should pay special attention to a routine. Focus on activities such as a healthy diet and exercise and other aspects that can support their health.
Optimizing routine for bipolar disorder also requires planning some fun, socializing regularly, and streamlining treatment. During periods of depression, a person can feel helpless as a result of extreme mood swings. A routine can help to counter that feeling by reducing uncertainties.
Helping a bipolar victim during depression can be difficult due to the uncertainties surrounding this condition. However, if you are determined to help a person, your efforts can make a big difference in their life. When they realize that you are willing to help, they may be keen on staying positive and sticking to their treatment plan. You can also feel accomplished knowing that you are helping someone to cope with the condition.